White Flowers (14)


Bitter Cherry (Prunus emarginata)

  • Other Names: Oregon cherry
  • Family: Rose family (Rosaceae)
  • Season: April-May
  • Color: White
  • Habitat: Disturbed areas; open woods
  • Status: Native

Bitter cherry is a thicket-forming shrub with reddish bark and ovate, finely-toothed leaves. In the spring, it has loose, flat clusters of five-petaled flowers on upright branches. The flowers have several hair-like stamens. The flowers are replaced by small, dark red cherries that taste extremely bitter. It can be upwards of 20 feet high. It is found in Hulls Gulch.


Common Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

Other Names: Bouncing bet, wild sweet William
Family: Carnation family (Caryophyllaceae)
Season: June-September
Color: White to pink
Habitat: Cool moist areas
Status: Non-native

Common soapwort is an attractive plant with clusters of radially-symmetrical white to light pink flowers. The flowers have five petals and are sweet smelling. The leaves are broadly lanceolate. The plants grow from 1-3 feet tall. It can be found in Military Reserve.


Douglas’ Dustymaiden (Chaenactis douglasii)

  • Other Names: False yarrow
  • Family: Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
  • Season: April-July
  • Color: White to light pink
  • Habitat: Sandy soils; dry slopes
  • Status: Native

Douglas’ dustymaiden has inch-long clusters of 40-50 tubular flowers in white or pale pink. Forked styles tinted lavender or pink protrude from the flowers like a pincushion. The gray-green leaves are frilly and fern-like. The plant is 8-24 inches tall. It is found in Hulls Gulch and Military Reserve.


Eyelash Plant (Blepharipappus scaber)

Photo by Jim Morefield

Other Names: Rough eyelashweed
Family: Aster family (Asteraceae)
Season: June-August
Color: White
Habitat: Sandy soils; sagebrush
Status: Native

Eyelash plant is an unassuming flower with three-lobed petals and striking purple anthers. Flowers have 3-7 white lobed petals. The leaves are linear and narrow. Plants may have multiple flowerheads. Plants range from 4-12 inches in height. Eyelash plant can be found in Military Reserve and Lower Hulls Gulch.


Hotrock Penstemon (Penstemon deustus)

  • Other Names: Scabland penstemon
  • Family: Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: White to cream
  • Habitat: Cliffs; dry, rocky areas
  • Status: Native

Hotrock penstemon has several stems of bilaterally-symmetrical flowers. The flowers are trumpet-shaped with fine purplish lines inside the throat; flowers have a faintly unpleasant odor. The leaves are ovate and strongly serrated. The plant is between 8-15 inches tall. It is found in Military Reserve and Hulls Gulch.


Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

  • Other Names: Indian lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane
  • Family: Purslane family (Portulacaceae)
  • Season: April-July
  • Color: White or light pink
  • Habitat: Moist soil; shady places
  • Status: Native

Miner’s lettuce has slender stems topped with a loose cluster of tiny, five-petaled flowers. Each stem grows through two conjoined leaves that appear to form one circular leaf. The plant can be anywhere from 1-16 inches high. The plant is high in vitamin C; early settlers ate it to prevent scurvy. It is found in Military Reserve and Hulls Gulch.


Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii)

  • Other Names: Syringa
  • Family: Hydrangea family (Hydrangeaceae)
  • Season: May-June
  • Color: White
  • Habitat: Rocky slopes; open banks
  • Status: Native

Mock orange is a mid-sized shrub with clusters of four-petaled, radially-symmetrical flowers that grow at the tips of many, short branches. The leaves are ovate, heavily-veined, and smooth, occasionally with faint serration on the edges. The flowers are sweetly fragrant and reminiscent of oranges. The fruit is a wooly capsule that lasts into the winter. The shrub is 6-12 feet tall. It is found in Hulls Gulch.


Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Other Names: Wild hemlock
Family: Carrot family (Apiaceae)
Season: April-September
Color: White
Habitat: Moist areas
Status: Non-native

Poison hemlock has flat clusters of small white flowers atop tall stems. The stems are hollow with reddish spots. The leaves are fern-like. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Poison hemlock can be upwards of eight feet tall. It can be found in Camel’s Back Park.


Sand Lily (Leucocrinum montanum)

  • Other Names: Common star lily, mountain lily
  • Family: Lily family (Liliaceae)
  • Season: April
  • Color: White
  • Habitat: Sandy soil; sagebrush
  • Status: Native

The sand lily has a loose, low cluster of star-like, six-petaled flowers surrounded by narrow, grass-like leaves. It blooms briefly each year. It grows up to 8 inches tall. It is found in Military Reserve.


Silverleaf Phacelia (Phacelia hastata)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  • Other Names: None
  • Family: Waterleaf family (Hydrophyllaceae)
  • Season: April-July
  • Color: White to pale lavender
  • Habitat: Sandy soil; open sites
  • Status: Native

Silverleaf phacelia has stems and leaves coated in silvery-white hairs. The bell-like flowers have five fused petals with five purplish stamens extending beyond the flowers like bristles. The flowers bloom in tightly-coiled clusters of 5-50 blossoms. The plant is 6-24 inches tall with branched, reddish stems and dense, ovate leaves that have nearly-parallel veins. It is found in Camel’s Back Park, Hulls Gulch, and Military Reserve.


Spiny Phlox (Phlox hoodii)

  • Other Names: Cushion phlox, Hood’s phlox
  • Family: Phlox family (Polemoniaceae)
  • Season: April-May
  • Color: White or pink
  • Habitat: Sandy soil; dry areas
  • Status: Native

Spiny phlox has radially-symmetrical, showy, numerous, white or pink flowers. The flowers are half an inch wide and tubular with five petals fused at the base. The leaves are small, linear, stiff, and spiny; leaves are rarely longer than half an inch. It grows in dense mats up to 12 inches wide; plants are rarely taller than 4 inches. It blooms earlier than most spring flowers. It is found in Hulls Gulch and Military Reserve.


Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum)

Other Names: None
Family: Mustard family (Brassicaceae)
Season: June-September
Color: White
Habitat: Moist areas; streams
Status: Non-native

Watercress is a non-native edible plant from Eurasia. It has small white flowers with four petals. It blooms near slow moving water. The fruit (siliques) are slender and slightly curved. It can be found in Camel’s Back Park and Military Reserve.


Woodlandstar (Lithophragma)

  • Other Names: Prairie star
  • Family: Saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae)
  • Season: March-April
  • Color: White to light pink
  • Habitat: Sagebrush; grassy hillsides
  • Status: Native

The woodlandstar is a fragile-looking wildflower that blooms in early spring. Each flower has 4-5 whitish petals incised into 3-4 narrow fingers. The plants are delicate, with dark red stems, and produce small bulbs where the stems and leaves meet. The leaves are greenish-purple, palmate, and deeply lobed. There are two varieties in the area, smallflower woodlandstar (pictured left) and bulbous woodlandstar (pictured right). It is 4-10 inches high. It is found in Camel’s Back Park, Hulls Gulch, and Military Reserve.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

  • Other Names: Milfoil
  • Family: Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
  • Season: May-October
  • Color: Creamy white
  • Habitat: Sandy soil; dry areas
  • Status: Native

Yarrow has flat clusters of 10-30 tiny, creamy-white flowers atop erect, fibrous stems. Each flower has 3-5 rays. The plant is 1-3 feet high. Flower clusters can be up to a foot across. The leaves are lacy and fern-like; crushed leaves release a minty or camphor-like odor. It is found in Camel’s Back Park, Hulls Gulch, and Military Reserve.


Go back to Boise Wildflowers (March-September)


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